WASHINGTON (AP) - A missile launched from a Navy ship struck a
dying U.S. spy satellite passing 130 miles over the Pacific on
Wednesday, the Pentagon said.
It was not clear whether the operation succeeded in its main
goal of destroying a tank aboard the satellite that carried a toxic
fuel that U.S. officials said could pose a hazard to humans if it
landed in a populated area.
"Confirmation that the fuel tank has been fragmented should be
available within 24 hours," the Pentagon said in a written
The USS Lake Erie, armed with an SM-3 missile designed to knock
down incoming missiles - not orbiting satellites - launched the
attack at 10:26 p.m. EST, according to the Pentagon. It hit the
satellite as the spacecraft traveled at more than 17,000 mph.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)